All of the Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders company members have performed in this ensemble for at least four years. Many have been with the company for more than a decade and have developed their characters through years of rehearsal and experimentation.
Company members come to the Wonders from myriad creative fields. In addition to their discipline-specific training, company members are trained in compassion-based practices that enable them to engage with individuals and communities with generosity and warmheartedness.
Matt Aguayo is an actor, performance artist, clown, and dancer. His first Wonder was 2012’s Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals, in which he played a Baker Bee named Swinkycrimper Fritterkins, a moniker that has stuck with him since. Other roles include, a Clock in Lullaby for Rookery and Dream for Redmond, a Gnome in Prelude to a Moon, and a Cake in Recipe for Love I & II. When not performing in the Wonders, Matt can be found dancing at Studio Current on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, bartending in the lobby of Book-It Repertory Theatre, introducing audiences around Seattle to his own brand of strange and beautiful performance work. Matt is a busy Seattle actor, and works with the local performance company, Grief Girls, which presents multi-disciplinary work that explores performance art through drag and dance at various venues in the Seattle area. Matt holds a BFA in Directing and Playwriting from Cornish College of the Arts.
Ned Beebe is a sculptor, installation artist, an inventor, a musician, and a labyrinth maker. His first Wonder was Professor Pomme’s Pomp & Pastry Paradoxicals in 2012, for which he created an acre-wide labyrinth in Redmond’s future Downtown Park. Since then, Ned has worked on Recipe for Love I & II, Nocturne for Rookery, Dream for Redmond, ACT Dream, A Hundred Years from Today, and numerous Revels. Locally, Ned has collaborated with choreographers, Mary Sheldon Scott, Corrie Befort, Alethea Adsitt, and Doranne Crable. Additionally, he has created light-based projections for Consolidated Works. From 2016-2017, Ned was a member of Lucia Neare’s cultural Think Tank at Seattle’s ACT Theatre. Ned holds a BA from The Evergreen State College, with a focus on installation sculpture. He studied sculpture at Cornish College of the Arts, and has more than 35 years of experience in carpentry. An accomplished musician, Ned plays Delta blues slide guitar and harmonica. He also skates Inline slalom, and is an avid Go (Weiqi/Buduk) player. About his work with the Wonders, he says: “I love creating magical worlds, outside of ordinary reality, for people to play and perform in.”
Julia Beers is an actor, vocalist, and voiceover artist. Her first role in the Wonders was in 2009, when she played a Sleepyhead on the beach at Golden Gardens in Lullaby Moon VIII. Since then, Julia originated the roles of Ivory the Clock in Lullaby Moon and Ursula, the singing bear, in There’s No Place Like Home in 2012. She has performed as a dancing Baker in the 2014 Recipe for Love and some say they’ve seen her as a Gnome. Julia’s love for fantastical characters, site-specific work, and the natural world brings her to the Wonders. Locally, she has worked with numerous theatres including, Inverse Opera, ReAct Theatre, GreenStage, SecondStory Rep, Balagan, Seattle Musical Theatre. She holds a BA in Theatre from Whitman College, and has trained with the Michael Chekhov Association. An avid gardener and pie baker (when not performing, teaching singing, or coaching actors), we’ll often find Julia in her vegetable garden. To discover more about Julia, visit juliabeers.net.
Justice Beitzel has performed with the Wonders since 2009, when she was a Clock Girl in Lullaby Moon. Since then, Justice has not only played many characters in the Wonders, including a Sweetheart Mouse, a Rabbit, a Gnome, and an Ambassador, she has also choreographed numerous dances for the company. Justice is a life-long dancer. Inspired by the art of Hip Hop, she won her first breakdance competition at the age of nine. In 1995, she began dancing, managing, and directing for Diversity Dance Workshop, a non-profit social-justice performing arts organization based out of Seattle. She spent the next five years touring the U.S and traveling abroad to launch similar dance workshops in Africa, Philippines, Germany, and Costa Rica. In 1999, Justice joined renowned choreographer Rennie Harris in his show, “The Legends of Hip Hop.” In 2001, Justice served as the artistic director for Global Motion, a United Nations-sponsored dance program in Kosovo. Justice has worked with local artists such as, Afsaana Dance, Brownbox Theater, KT Niehoff/Lingo Dance, and Karin Stevens Dance. She also models, acts, appears in print ads, on product labels, and in television commercials. When not working with her own non-profit company, Splinter Dance, you might find her mentoring youth, or teaching the Hip Hop Choreo Class at the Massive Monkees studio: The Beacon. To learn more about Justice, visit ajusticenetwork.org.
David Bestock is an actor, singer, improviser, auctioneer, emcee, writer, and producer. His first Wonder was 2014’s Recipe for Love, in which he brought his prodigious improv skills to the role of the particularly professorial mouse, Professor Pomme, a role he continues to play. David has over 25 years of training in improvisational theatre, and is a mainstay of Seattle’s improv scene. He performs regularly at Unexpected Productions, which produces improv comedy shows five days a week at the Market Theater in Seattle’s Post Alley. Past credits include ACT Theatre, Centerstage, Tales of the Alchemysts, Parley, Wing-It Productions, and many more. David co-wrote and produced Wisemen, a musical comedy at ACT Theatre, which originally debuted as Holiday Bizarre: A Jewish Christmas! at the Tractor Tavern. He holds a bachelors degree in Communications from Western Washington University and a Certificate in Screenwriting from the University of Washington. By day, he is Executive Director of the wondrous Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, integrating art, nature, and neighborhood. David was born and raised in Seattle, and is a national champion ultimate Frisbee player. Visit dnda.org.
Robin Campbell began performing in the Wonders in 2009 as a Mother Horse in Lullaby Moon VIII, and has since added the roles of House Gnome, Cake, and Rosebud the Sweetheart Mouse to the list of characters she plays. A dancer by trade, you’ll find Robin onstage and in the community with her own non-profit educational dance company, Splinter Dance. Locally, she has worked with Afsaana Dance, Brownbox Theater, re:flexion Productions, KT Niehoff/Lingo Dance, Karin Stevens Dance, and Diversity Dance Company, to name a few. Robin is trained as a pantomime, clown, dancer, and as a runway model. She’s lived and worked across the U.S. and Europe, and has recently enjoyed branching out into acting for the camera and print modeling. She’s been featured in local television commercials, corporate training videos, and print ads. She co-teaches a weekly Hip Hop/Jazz Choreography class at The Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon. Born and raised in Colorado, Robin traveled, danced, and lived all over the planet before settling in Seattle in 2007. She holds dual BA's in Dance (World Arts and Cultures) and German Studies from UCLA. When not engaged in her art practice, Robin works as an accountant by day, and is a mama to her beloved hero-dog, Ailey. Visit ajusticenetwork.org.
Guy Caridi: Choreographer and dancer, Guy Caridi, began working with the Wonders in 2008, when he performed as a dancing Baker in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular, a show for which he also choreographed Lindy Hop elements. Since then, he has continued to choreograph for the company, and has played numerous roles, including an Ambassador in Lullaby Moon, Lullaby Moon 2010, Nocturne for Rookery, and Prelude to a Moon; a Baker in Recipe for Love I and II; and the Stag of the Moon in ACT Dream. Guy is a founding member and Artistic Director of Seattle's Savoy Swing Club, the longest running Lindy Hop performance troupe in the country outside of New York. In 1999, he took home trophies in the Lindy Hop and Team divisions at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. In total, four of five routines choreographed by Guy were place-winners. He has taught and performed internationally and is well known for his respectful, sensitive and humorous teaching style. Guy trained with dance icons Frankie Manning and Norma Miller, and their vintage dance-revivalist protégés of the 1980s. Guy's choreography credits for local theaters and schools include, Wizard of Oz, Oliver!, Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell, Footloose, Annie!, Mary Poppins, The Fantasticks, and Midsummer Night's Dream. He loves making people laugh. To learn more about Guy, visit savoyswing.org.
Lynne Compton: Actor, storyteller, and voice artist, Lynne Compton is a founding company member of Theatrical Wonders. She has performed with the company since its inception in 2006 – that year, as a Storyteller in Lullaby Carriage. Since then, Lynne has originated and performed many roles with the company, including a lovelorn maid in Ooo la la! A May Day Spectacular, the Grandmother Owl in Lullaby Moon, and most recently, Ambrosia, the Queen Bee in Recipe for Love I & II. When not performing in the Wonders, Lynne uses her marvelous voice to give audio descriptions for visually impaired audience members at theatres across Seattle including, The Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Seattle Repertory Theatre and The Paramount. She recently performed with Silver Kite’s Intergenerational Theater and she’s currently puzzling through several chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses for a reading at Seattle’s Main Library in celebration of Bloomsday in Ireland. Lynne holds a BA (with emphasis on the Performing Arts) from The Evergreen State College, and is a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique. She has taught at Freehold Studio Theatre Lab, Cornish College of the Arts, and the University of Washington. Originally from England, Lynne has called Seattle home for three decades.
Kristina Dillard has been performing, creating, and producing work in Seattle since 1993. She is the artistic director of the Big Red Dance Company, and has received grants from the Seattle Arts Commission, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the Allied Arts Foundation. Big Red Dance has been presented by Base, The Grocery, Velocity, On the Boards, Seattle Center, and 10 Tiny Dances in Seattle and Portland. Kristina has been performing with the Wonders since 2014, and was originally drawn to the work because she wanted to express herself as a dancing cake. She has also performed as an Alchemist Cat in Nocturne for Rookery and Dream for Redmond, and as a Gnome alongside her son, Zachary, who played a Baby Gnome. Kristina is currently working on a dance film (about cake) with long time collaborator David Beckley, and in August 2018, presented her evening-length work, Kiss Me Cake, at Seattle's Cafe Nordo. She holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts, and an MFA in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College.
Mark Haim is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and musician. Born in New York City, Mark began studying classical piano at age 6, and attended the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. He was accepted to the Dance Division of The Juilliard School on an honorary scholarship, and graduated with a BFA degree in 1983. He received his MFA in Dance in 2006, in the first graduating class of the Hollins/ADF MFA program. Mark has been choreographing for over 30 years. He has created new works for dance companies such as the Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballet Frankfurt, the Limon Dance Company, the Joffrey II Dancers, and the Rotterdamse Dansgroep, and has restaged his works on The Joffrey Ballet, the Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel, Djazzex, and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble. Mark's work has been performed at the American Dance Festival, the Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, The John F. Kennedy Center, On The Boards, the ArtDan, The Festival in Paris, the Joyce Theater in NYC, and other venues in the U.S, Europe, and Asia. Currently, he is Artistic Director of Mark Haim Dance and Theater based in Seattle. Mark has choreographed for the Wonders since Lullaby Moon in 2009. To find out more about Mark, visit markhaimart.com.
Lee Ann Hittenberger is a full-spectrum theatre artist. She is an actor, dancer, director, designer, costumer, and stage-combat expert. Since 2010, Lee Ann has played Grandmama Time and the perspicacious Grandmother Owl in Lullaby Moon, and recently performed as Queen Ambrosia II in A Hundred Years from Today. She first encountered performing when she played a sea polyp in The Little Mermaid at age 10. Since then, Lee Ann studied acting at Seattle’s Freehold Studio Theatre Lab, and is a graduate of the PATP program at Dell Arte International School of Physical Theater. Lee Ann is certified in 8 stage-combat weapons, and has trained nationally and internationally for over 15 years. In addition to her performing, directing, choreography and design work, Lee Ann teaches costuming, theater, and stage combat. She works widely in the Puget Sound region. In her spare time, she writes poetry and takes photographs.
Winfield Hobbs is an actor, a dancer, a musician, and a teacher. Since 2008, he has been a vital member of the Wonders. He has originated and developed numerous roles, including, Maitre’d Marcel Tout Sweet in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular, an Ambassador in Lullaby Moon, Lullaby for Rookery, and Dream for Redmond, Father Clock in Lullaby Moon 2010, a Baker in Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals, Hobnob Hailstorm, house gnome, in There’s No Place Like Home, and Grandpa Bear in Recipe for Love I & II, Prelude to a Moon, and A Hundred Years from Today. He is a founding member of Seattle’s Savoy Swing Club and the Savoy Swing Club Performance Troupe, and teaches partner dance throughout the region. Locally, he has performed with Eastside Musical Theatre, Straight Edge Theatrics, Edmonds Driftwood Players and many others. Originally from Lexington, Nebraska, Win holds a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a Doctor of Chiropractic from the University of Western States. He is a chiropractic physician in Seattle. For the last five years he has been the Camp Director and an Instructor at Seabeck Dance Camp. When he’s not working with patients, teaching, performing, dancing or emceeing, he paints and plays his ukulele and sings with Seattle’s Na Hila Hila Boys.
Kristianne Huntsberger started making magic with the Wonders in 2010 as a Dancing Ambassador at Gas Works Park. She has since embodied a Baker Bee, a Horse Mother, a Maire and a Lollygagger. More than anything, the work with fellow Wondermakers has helped Kristianne recognize how much magic permeates everyday life. Kristianne is also a writer and storyteller and has hosted workshops for the City of Seattle and 4Culture. In an average week, she supports booksellers around the country through her work at Shelf Awareness and works steadily through David Bowie's list of 100 books on the podcast BowieBookClub. If asked, Kristianne would admit her favorite food is feta and that she nearly has enough books to build a fort in her living room. To learn more about Kristianne, visit kristiannehuntsberger.com and bowiebookclub.com.
Jessica Jobaris is a Seattle-based choreographer, performer, and instructor. She has been exploring movement and awareness for more than 20 years. In the US, she performed with Mark Haim, KT Niehoff, Maureen Whiting, Scott/Powell Performance, and Carr Mixed Media in NYC. In Germany, she worked for Jess Curtis/Maria Scaroni, Felix Ruckert, Kirsten Burger, and for German MTV. She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, and has taught at Dock 11 (Berlin, Germany), University of Utah, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Pacific University, and Velocity Dance Center (Seattle). From 2004-2009, Jessica was Co-Artistic Director of CorpusCorpus Movement Association, a multi-media performance art company based in Seattle. From 2008 to 2015, Jessica was the movement director for Engaged Theater through Freehold, under the direction of Robin Lynn Smith. In 2011, she launched Jessica Jobaris & General Magic, a dance-theatre, multi-media company, intersecting catastrophe and comedy. Her work has been seen on stages large and small, throughout the U.S. and in Canada. Seattle’s On the Boards commissioned her latest evening-length work, “A Great Hunger.” Jessica has choreographed for the Wonders since 2008’s Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular. To learn more about Jessica, please visit jessicajobaris.com.
Lorraine Lau is a life-long dancer, actor, storyteller, and teacher. Her first performance in the Wonders was as Mistletoe, the Sweetheart Mouse, in 2012's Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paridoxicals. Lorraine originated this role, and has played Mistletoe in numerous productions, including Professor Pomme’s Practically Paradoxical Petite Pastry Parade, Recipe for Love I & II, Prelude to a Moon, and A Hundred Years from Today. She has also played Foggy Banister, the House Gnome, in There’s No Place Like Home, and is a long-time Horse Mother. Lorraine first learned to dance from her mother at Peninsula Dance Theatre in Bremerton, Washington, and studied dance, gender/queer studies, and American ethnic studies at the University of Washington. Locally, Lorraine is a member of Au Collective, and performs for Alice Gosti, Petra Zanki, and Melissa Riker of Kinesis Project. Previous appearances include collaboration with visual and performance artist Mandy Greer, Amy Johnson's AJnC, and the Pat Graney Company. Lorraine also loves being a preschool teacher and painting.
Whitney Lawless is a mover, a writer, and a teacher. She attended the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Whitney began performing with the Wonders in 2008, when she was a French Poodle in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular. Whitney also performed as a Horse Mother and as an Alchemist Cat in Lullaby Moon, then she brought her extraordinary comedic timing and physical skills to the role of the Moon-Drunk Rabbit in the Lullaby Moon. Whitney has played this role since then, appearing in Lullaby Moon 2010, Recipe for Love in 2014, and A Hundred Years from Today in 2018. Besides the Wonders, Whitney’s favorite performances have been with Seattle’s Circus Contraption (2008-2009) and singing on the streets of Paris. Currently, she teaches yoga and movement, and is a quilter, a mama, and a mischief-maker. She grew up in Seattle. To learn more about Whitney, please visit tomoveandawaken.com.
Dara Lillis: Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Dara Lillis began performing with the Wonders in 2014. He’s played the Moondrunk Rabbit, Cappucino Fitzgerald III, in Nocturne for Rookery and Dream for Redmond; and a Gnome, Snowstorm Teakettle in Recipe for Love I, Professor Pomme’s Practically Paradoxical Petite Pastry Parade, and Dream for Redmond. Though primarily a stage actor, Dara also works in voice acting, clowning, performance art, and improv. He has performed at a variety of venues across Seattle, with theatre companies small and large, including: On the Boards, Town Hall, Slate Theatre, 12th Ave Arts, West of Lenin, Freehold Theatre, 18th & Union, and Bainbridge Performing Arts. Dara studied acting in comprehensive training at Freehold Theatre in Seattle, where his training included a year-long Meisner intensive followed by a year of conservatory-style Ensemble Training. He’s studied physical theatre with Pacific Performance Project, clowning with Avner Eisenberg and improv with everyone possible. Dara serves as a board member with Freehold Theatre, and is proud to support the work Freehold does to offer marginalized populations (such as inmates at Washington State prisons) the opportunity to experience the same liberation in performing that he also enjoys.
Christine Longé is a generative physical theatre artist (clown, mask, movement, puppetry), as well as playwright, singer, director, and producer. She has worked with the company since 2008 when she performed as a bubblegum-smacking Bellhop in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular. Since then, she has brought her comedic prowess to numerous other roles, many of which she originated and has played for years, including Belle the Clock Girl in Lullaby Moon and Lullaby Moon 2010, Mother Bear in There’s No Place Like Home, Cloverbelle in Recipe for Love I & II, among others. Christine holds a BFA in Theatre (emphasis in Original Works) from Cornish College of the Arts, and has trained with Zen Zen Zo physical theatre, Aitor Basauri of SpyMonkey, Ira Seidenstein, and other clown experts. She sings with the Seattle-based company The Moonshine Revival Tent, co-facilitates the open-to-all Clown Lab workshops, and writes as well as performs original shows for international fringe festivals. Her solo show The Two-Step has received multiple festival awards including two "Best of Fest" titles in 2014 and 2018. Christine directs and teaches various theatre subjects for youth, coaches gymnastics, and adapts professional scripts for elementary school performers. To follow her many adventures, visit christinelonge.com.
Cathy Madden is a teacher, a director, an acting coach, a writer, a performer, and longtime mentor to Lucia Neare. She has been involved in the Wonders since their inception in 2006. Cathy is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington School of Drama, and she is a former chair of Alexander Technique International. She is also Director of the Integrative Alexander Technique Studio of Seattle and Associate Director for BodyChance, an Alexander Technique training school with centers in Tokyo and Osaka. Internationally, she is a regular Guest Teacher at Alexander Technique training centers in Europe, Australia and Japan. Her specialty is the direct integration of the Alexander Technique into the performing arts. Cathy holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Penn State, and M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Drama and Literature, and did additional graduate study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her published articles on Alexander Technique pedagogy appear in Congress Papers, Direction Magazine, and Theatre Topics. Cathy’s seminal books on the Alexander Technique include Integrative Alexander Technique Practices for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy and Teaching the Alexander Technique: Active Pathways to Integrative Practice. To learn more about Cathy, please visit cathymadden.net.
Kari Morehouse Tai joined the cast of the Wonders as an Ambassador in Lullaby Moon 2010, and since then this multi-faceted dancer has played many roles in the Wonders including a Cake, a Gnome, a Grandmother Owl, a Sleepyhead, a Baker, a Sweetheart Mouse, and a Horse Mother. Regionally, Kari has performed with choreographers, Amy O’Neal, BQdanza (Carla Barragan), Amelia Reeber, and Kate Lounsbury, among many others. She was a company member with Canyon Movement Company and Precipice Dance Theater, as well as the Spokane Ballet Company. Kari’s dance training includes study with Carol Jakes of Kalispell, Montana, Chicago City Ballet, Stage 7 in San Diego, and Spokane Ballet. In addition to dancing, Kari holds a M.A. in Medical Anthropology from Northern Arizona University, as well as dual undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Anthropology from the University of Washington. Along with performing, writing, and serving on the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission, Kari enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and paddle boarding with her family.
Lucia Neare: In addition to creating, directing, designing, and producing her Wonders, Lucia also performs in her work. She has played many of the roles in her pantheon, including, the Swan Queen, Great Grandmother Owl, a Horse Mother, and a Moon-Drunk Rabbit in the Lullaby Moon cycle, Madame Cleo in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular, and Mother Bear in Prelude to a Moon. She is a classically-trained soprano, who can regularly be heard singing with the Valse Café Orchestra. When not creating and performing in her Wonders, teaching, or consulting with cities, Lucia enjoys playing her banjo, Princess, in the woods and waltzing in the kitchen.
Amanda Radcliff is a dancer. Her first performance with the Wonders was in 2015’s Recipe for Love. Since then, she has played a Sleepyhead in Nocturne for Rookery and Dream for Redmond, as well as a Gnome in ACT Dream and Prelude to a Moon. In 2018’s A Hundred Years from Today, Amanda danced and gathered wishes from audience members under a 10-foot-tall four-leaf clover in Redmond’s new Downtown Park. A life-long Seattleite – and a lifelong dancer – Amanda trained for 14 years at Barclay Shelton Dance Centre, where she studied ballet, lyrical, jazz and hip-hop. She is a full-time company member of the Splinter Dance Company, and has danced with Afsaana Dance Company as well as Dhawal Doshi. By day, she is a nanny to three boys. When not dancing or working with children, Amanda enjoys drawing, photography, and ASL. About her work in the Wonders, she says: “I love the absolute magic of it all.”
Naomi Russell: Long-time company member, Naomi Russell, made her first appearance in the Wonders as a French Poodle in 2008’s Ooo, La La! A May Day Spectacular. Later that year, she performed as an Alchemist Cat, and as a Horse Mother in Lullaby Moon, and then as Moonlight, the Moondrunk Rabbit, a role she continued to play in Lullaby Moon 2010, and Lullaby for Dottie Harper Park, Recipe for Love I & II, and A Hundred Years from Today. Naomi has also performed as Buttercup, the Sweetheart Mouse in Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals and Professor Pomme’s Practically Perfect Petite Pastry Parade. Naomi holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. Locally, she has danced with numerous choreographers and dance companies including, d9 Dance Collective, BetterBiscuitDance, Aiko Kinoshita, Jenna Bean Veatch, and Ricki Mason. When not with the Wonders, you’ll find Naomi playing with her beautiful children, whose existence, she says, “is a direct result of meeting my amazing partner while we both performed in Lullaby Moon together.” Naomi enjoys gardening, knitting, crafting, and dreaming.
Rhonda J. Sable has been the Production Manager for the Wonders since 2015, and has been involved in professional theatre for close to 40 years, both as an administrator and a performer. She was the Company Manager for world-renowned juggling/theatre/comedy troupe, The Flying Karamazov Brothers from 1990 through 2006. She toured both nationally and internationally with the group, as well as overseeing its numerous theatrical runs on Broadway. Since 2007 she has been the Guest Relations Manager for The Seattle International Film Festival, recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America. Rhonda helped to build and grow Seattle’s own comedy/varietè extravaganza, The Moisture Festival, up until 2013 as their Director of Smooth Operations. A trained dancer from age seven, she has studied numerous dance forms, including ballet, jazz, tap and Argentine tango. She is a member of that wacky vaudeville troupe known as The Royale Famille Du Caniveaux, well known for their yearly performances at the Oregon Country Fair and the founder and original choreographer of The Flordigan Can Can Girls. Rhonda firmly believes in the benefits of making people laugh, inspiring joy and sparking creativity in unpredictable ways. She is committed to creating unforgettable experiences for diverse groups of people through established and not-yet-envisioned art forms.
Nasim Simmons is a dancer. Her first performance with the company was as an Ambassador in Lullaby Moon 2010. Since then, she has performed in many Wonders, as a Horse Mother in Dream for Redmond, and Lullaby for Dottie Harper Park, as a Grandmother Owl in Nocturne for Rookery, and as a Sweetheart Mouse in Recipe for Love I & II as well as A Hundred Years from Today. Nasim has performed and taught dance in Germany, Moldova, Israel, Panama, Canada, Tahiti, and around the United States. Locally, she is also a company member of Splinter Dance. Nasim holds degrees in dance and biology from the University of Washington. She is a computer programmer and an avid knitter. About the Wonders, Nasim says: “I love transforming public spaces through the power of art, love, joy, and positivity.” To learn more about Nasim’s work, please visit ajusticenetwork.org.
Christian Swensonis a Seattle-based performing artist who articulates his enthusiasm for life with his body and voice. His pioneering "Human Jazz" work has wowed audiences throughout North America, in Europe, and Asia. In 1977 he received a B.A. in Theater from the University of New Hampshire and moved to Seattle to work with the Bill Evans Dance Company. Further training has included work with: Tony Montanaro, Ruth Zapora, and with the late Pakistani master singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Christian has received Fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission and Artist Trust of Washington, and is currently on the theater faculty at Seattle University. Every Sunday afternoon he facilitates Velocity’s “Movement Jam.” He and his dear wife, Abigail, have 2 grown children. Christian has performed with the Wonders since 2008. He played Father Time in Lullaby Moon and Lullaby for Dottie Harper Park, a Gnome in Professor Pommes Practically Paradoxical Petite Pastry Parade, and Rabbit Razzleberry in Recipe for Love II and A Hundred Years from Today. Learn more about Christian at humanjazz.com.
Lisa Swihart is trained in ballet, jazz and modern dance. Her first performance in the Wonders was in 2014 in Recipe for Love. Since then, Lisa has performed in many roles with the company, including as a Sleepyhead in Nocturne for Rookery, as a Dancing Cake in Recipe for Love II and Professor Pomme's Petite Pastry Parade, as a Horse Mother in Dream for Redmond, as well as in ACT Dream, and as a Sweetheart Mouse in A Hundred Years from Today. Regionally, Lisa has performed and choreographed with RADCO in Olympia; she was the Creative Dance Director/Choreographer for Planet Percussion Band and OlyRad in Olympia. In Seattle, she was a company member for Splinter Dance Company, and Culture Shakti's Bollywood company; she has also performed with VamoLa and Big Red Dance. Lisa holds a B.S. in Biology from The Evergreen State College and a M.S. in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology from Bastyr University. By day, she helps people find increased joy and health through her work as a nutritionist/health coach. For fun, she stays active and skis, runs half marathons, rides her bike in the Seattle to Portland Bike Ride, and does acroyoga. Lisa grew up in the Puget Sound region, and loves being a mama to her 10-year-old daughter.
Ali Vice is a dancer, choreographer, actor, and singer. Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Ali has lived in Seattle since 2012. Her first Wonder was in 2015, when she played a dancing Baker in Recipe for Love. She performed as a Sleepyhead in Nocturne for Rookery and Dream for Redmond, as well as a Gnome in ACT Dream and Prelude to a Moon. Most recently, Ali was a Clover Baker in 2018’s A Hundred Years from Today. Ali holds a B.A. in Theatre & Dance from Principia College, and is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, and Bollywood dance. She is a proud member of the Splinter Dance Company, and dances with Pratidhwani's dance company and Afsaana Dance Company. She has also performed with Dhawal Doshi from Mumbai, India. By day, she is the Assistant Director of Seattle's Performers, where she teaches musical theatre to kids ages 3-15. About her work with the Wonders, she says: “I love being a part of a company that promotes love, creativity, and MAGIC.” To learn more about Ali, please visit Instagram: whogirllove.
Hendri Walujo: Performer, dancer, improviser, and entertainer, Hendri Walujo’s first performance in the Wonders was in 2008 in Lullaby Moon, when he played an Alchemist Cat, a role he originated, developed, and continues to play. Since then, Hendri has been an active company member, and has performed as Stargazer, the Sweetheart Mouse in Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals, Recipe for Love I & II, and A Hundred Years from Today; House Gnome Breezy Bannister in There’s No Place Like Home; and Cake Lacy Lavender among numerous other roles. Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Hendri has lived in Seattle since 2002. He studied dance at Seattle’s Velocity Dance Center, Strictly Seattle, and SFDI. Hendri regularly works with many of Seattle’s premiere choreographers, including, Mark Haim (Seattle/Paris/New York), Jessica Jobaris (Seattle/Portland), KT Niehoff (Glimmer 2010 & 2015), Carla Barragan/BQdanza (Ecuador tour 2005 & 2007) and many others. To find out more about Hendri’s work, visit hendri-w.weebly.com.
Jens Wazel: Berlin-based dancer, clown, physical-theatre artist, and improviser Jens Wazel’s first performance with the Wonders was as the First Mate in Ooo La La! A May Day Spectacular. Since then, Jens originated the role of Sebastian the Moon-Drunk Rabbit in Lullaby Moon, a role he has honed for 10 years. He has performed in numerous Wonders, including Lullaby Moon 2010, Lullaby for Dottie Harper Park and Recipe for Love. Locally, Jens has also performed with Salt Horse, Jessica Jobaris & General Magic, at On the Boards, and on stages throughout Seattle. He studied physical theatre and clowning with UMO Ensemble and Ruth Zaporah, and has worked with Anna Halprin and Nina Wise. When he’s not performing, Jens teaches conscious dance. He is also a photographer: jenswazelphotography.com.
Valse Cafe Orchestra: This nimble ensemble is the “house band” for Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders. Many of the orchestra’s players are veterans of the Seattle Symphony or play in the pit orchestras of Seattle’s two major music halls. This little orchestra coalesced in1999 with a singular goal: to win the hearts of dancers with post-modern renditions of dance-hall classics. As the ensemble evolved and its popularity grew, it delved into realms of musical theater and performance art, and today it performs in concert as well. This ensemble varies from three to a dozen musicians, depending on the scope of performance and budget. (Café orchestras specialize in arranging a Strauss waltz or a Mozart concerto so that seven or a dozen musicians can sound like their big-cousin symphonies—when they want to—staying all the while true to the original orchestral masterpieces. Perfect for Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders.) The orchestra’s eclectic répertoire celebrates a romantic mélange of bygone eras and cultures: Paris in the thirties. Hapsburg Vienna. Yiddish melancholy. Ragtime Manhattan. Postwar Havana. And dual genres of swing – the sophisticated urbane variety as well as a few Bob Wills barnburners. To learn more about the Valse Café Orchestra, please visit ValseCafeOrchestra.com.